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What Is Clonidine Prescribed For?

Clonidine hydrochloride (Catapres®, Catapres-TTS®, Duraclon®, Kapvay™, Nexiclon® XR) is a medication often used for treating severe cancer pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and high blood pressure.
High Blood Pressure
The tablet and skin patch form of clonidine are approved for the treatment of high blood pressure. By lowering blood pressure, blood pressure medications are thought to decrease the risks that occur with long-term high blood pressure (see Effects of High Blood Pressure). Clonidine does not, however, cure high blood pressure. It can be used alone or in combination with other blood pressure medications.
Cancer Pain
Clonidine can be given by an epidural for treating severe cancer pain. It should be used together with opiate medications (such as morphine) and only in people who do not respond adequately to opiates alone. In general, clonidine is more effective for nerve pain, compared to other types of pain. Because of the significant risks of epidural clonidine, this treatment is generally not recommended for other types of pain (such as obstetrical or post-surgery pain).
Clonidine long-acting tablets (Kapvay) are approved to treat ADHD in children and adolescents age 6 to 17 years old. Unlike most other ADHD medications, clonidine is not a stimulant and is not a controlled substance. It is approved to be used alone or in combination with a stimulant.
(Click What Is Clonidine Used For? for more information on what the drug is prescribed for, to find out how clonidine works, and to learn about possible off-label uses for the drug.)
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